Tag Archive | rants

Mass Shootings and Society

The shooter wasn’t mentally ill in Florida. florida-shooting-new-gallery1

He was pure rage, uncontrolled.

His primary rage appears directed at his ex-girlfriend, who dumped him. He jumped her new boyfriend and assaulted him which is how he got expelled.

He also had rage against Jewish people who make up almost half the students in that district, a rage fueled by white supremacist groups that are known to be anti-Semitic.

He was not mentally ill. He was angry, to the point of rage. We need to stop confusing rage with mental illness.

We already recognize unbridled rage as bad. We have religions, many of them, that admonish about controlling one’s temper, about the evils of letting rage and emotion control your actions.

Society already knows this is bad. But in a pseudo-scientific way, to make it try to sound scientific, we want to label something that is not mental illness as mental illness, because we do not want to take responsibility for it!

If it’s mental illness, it’s not society’s (white people’s) fault that young white males do this.

Here’s news for 21st century America – yeah, it IS your fault. Part of this is the outgrowth of 400+ years obsession with warfare, violence, misogyny, conquest, and genocide. Part of this is the outgrowth of a few thousand years of patriarchal male dominated ownership of women as sex objects.

But white supremacist patriarchal society does not want to take responsibility for the fruits of 400+ years of colonialism, patriarchy, genocide, and obsession with conquest and warfare. That is the United States, in a nutshell.

To be responsible for those things means society could change those things, might even need to change those things, but if they can instead blame a factor beyond society’s control, then society doesn’t have to change, does it?

But, by laying the problem at the feet of mental illness, white, male controlled society washes its hands of the problem, and then pretends it can go on being patriarchal, genocidal, misogynistic, and obsessed with conquest and warfare.

If these are the fruits of society’s CHOICES, then society could change and alter those fruits. By pushing it off on mental illness, society is trying to pretend that what happens is no one’s fault.

That is what you are seeing happen around you right now.

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I Now Know…

As an older trans woman, who fought with herself for decades before finally being able to throw off the internalized transphobia and even misogyny that frightened me from embracing myself, there are consequences to having waited so long to transition.

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It’s Not Your Fault

We need to chat. About capitalism, ecologic destruction, white supremacy, racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, and transphobia. We need to discuss something important in relationship to all of those nasty things. And that important thing is this – it is not your fault that you were born into a world that is structured around all those things.

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It’s Not Really About Bathrooms

In November 2015, many of us in Houston, Texas, feared that we would lose on the recall vote about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. We did, and we lost massively.

During that campaign, the primary weapon of the religious right was the bathroom predator myth. They had TV ads and everything and blasted that myth across the airwaves. It was not until 2 days before the elections that any local media even began to refute those lies.

As a consequence, we lost that vote bigtime by 61% to repeal the ordinance versus 39% to retain it.

When we lost that vote, within a few days, I made the prediction that the GOP would take the bathroom predator myth nationwide. Why? Because it both helps defeat trans rights and in doing so, it drives ignorant Republican voters to the polls. The bathroom predator myth is, therefore, just a tool to turn out ignorant white straight fundamentalist voters.

This means they are scapegoating trans people as a means to grasp at political power. This was never about women’s safety or bathrooms. This was always about the GOP finding a divisive fear generating wedge issue and then hammering that wedge issue with a sledge hammer til it fractures other coalitions and drives voters into Republican arms.

Republicans see this as a win, because it lets them back down (a little, not all the way) on racism as a fear tactic and instead scapegoat a much smaller population that is unable to defend itself. I’ve even seen Republicans make overtures to black churches about how “bad” trans rights are.

If the SCOTUS ever does rule on this and supports trans civil rights, like the Gavin Grimm case returns to the SCOTUS, you can count on right wingers making “rollback trans rights” into another Supreme Court nominee litmus test just like “rollback abortion rights” is right now.

They will argue they need to pack the court with anti-trans judges to stop this “horror” and “danger” to society. And transgender people will be scapegoated and actively harmed solely to support Republican fear mongering. Trans people will die just so Republicans can use fear mongering to gain political power. And that, my friends, is the real evil here.